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5th February 2018 - Plastic divers.....

It is the buzzword for 2018. Our PM promises it will be gone by 2020. Attenborough abhors it. And sea life chokes at the very thought of it.

No - not The Donald.

Plastic.

But dear diver – are YOU part of the problem – or part of the solution.

Let’s find out with the Tanked Up PLASTIC QUIZ.

Q1 – You are flying off to distant dive sites and your gold-plated dive kit, worth more than a car is going to be checked in as hold baggage.

How do you secure this precious item?

A – It will go in my chunky material based wheely case. A solid padlock across the 2 zippers and a “where’s my bag” chip is sewn into the base, with full app support to find the baggage in the back of a handler’s car, will do.

B – Awesome. There’s a bloke who will spin a hundred metres of bright green placcy around the dive bag. For an extra tenner I get full bubble wrap padding, and a knife to cut it all away. I think he said “bio-degradable” but I can test that by chucking it off my hotel balcony on arrival and monitoring its decreased size every time I lean out there for a fag each night.

Q2 – Your dive club is having a 70’s disco night. But Lordy – if the DJ plays any more Rose Royce, Manhattan Foundation or Abba there’s gonna be a punch up. Let’s request a song to big things up. Name that tune…

A – Something earthy, something harmonic with the ebb and flow of nature. Something that represents the camaraderie of us divers as we help protect the world. “Combine Harvester” by the Wurzels

B – Go Belgian with Europe’s favourite proto-punk. “Ca plane pour moi”. Plastic Bertrand please Mr DJ. And play it on vinyl whilst you’re at it.

Q3 – Your new dive buddy-girlfriend has turned vegan. And she is getting more serious about this. A total lack of bacon is worsening her mood dive by dive. She is now looking at your fine leather shoes and making “hmmmm-ing” noises. What do you do?

A – You love her as she’s the only diver you have met that has half a tank of air left when you have guzzled all yours. That lack of cheese must have increased her lung efficiency. Leather shoes to the charity bin. And welcome to the dark blue espadrilles in my footwear display cabinet.

B – There’s new shoes for a fiver down my local street market. They seem to melt a bit when placed near a radiator, so must be made of PVC. But no worries as her lack of sausages, BabyBels and Big Macs are soon going to compromise her ability to lift my weary body out of the ocean. And to carry 2 pints from the bar. That’s when it’s all over. Then I simply fly-tip the footwear and the old shoes are revealed when she takes her sacks of couscous out of the kitchen.

Q4 – All that diving has made me thirsty. Must be the osmosis, the sun and the stinking hangover after all that dodgy Saqqara “beer”. Let’s get a drink at the hotel bar as soon as I get in. But - problem. The pint of Coke in the glass is at least 6 inches away from my mouth. How do I get to consume it?

A – I simply either lean forward a bit, place mouth to glass rim and slurp. Or I place the glass into my hand and lift it a bit to place against my buccal cavity and slurp. Fairly straight forward.

B - I shall insist upon a single use hollow pipe-like object which allows me to suck down the fluid without moving any part of my body except my cheeks. I shall then take this so called “drinking pipe” on my next dive and shove it into a groupers mouth and tell him it’s a snorkel.

Q5 – Congratulations – you have reached the final of Pointless. Alexander Armstrong asks you what you will do with the jackpot if you win it. You and your dive buddy say you will both go on a liveaboard. You win the paltry grand, wishing you had entered The Chase for a bit more booty. After flights, insurance and excess baggage you have £100 left for the actual boat. Your cabin is in the bilges with no service or cleaning. How do you dispose of all the rubbish that is now blocking the door?

A – Best to separate all the paper, plastic and organic waste into 3 different piles. One can be given to the ship’s galley to trash with food left-overs. One can be folded up neatly and put into re-cyc when back on shore. The other I will take all the way back home with me to dispose of properly.

B – There is a clear window after the last night-dive and the first dawn-dive. So I have 4 hours in which to let it all accidentally fall out of my hand into the sea. I am sure the current will take it to China where they make energy out of this sort of stuff.

Q6 – Your Dive Club wants to raise money for a good charitable cause. Scuba Trust or something sharkey. At the meeting to decide how to do this you are asked for your suggestions. What your big idea?

A – No brainer. Beach clean up. Last week the club RIB’s propeller was entwined in fishing line. You saw 2 rays encased in Tesco bags and even the crabs had somehow gotten elastic bands everywhere. Filthy stuff. Let’s clean it all up so our children and grand-children can enjoy nature as it was intended.

B – How about we all binge-watch Game of Thrones. That’s like a million hours of telly. And we can sustain ourselves on Deliveroo Chinese deliveries. All the empty placcy cartons can be put in the local council recyclable plastic bin liners. Because they do recycle them properly – don’t they.

Q7 – Fruit eh! Delicious and part of your five a day. Let’s stock up before the dive. Where do you go to get your citrus joy?

A – My local ethically sourced Fairtrade vendor. You can buy such goodies that not only sustain yourself when needing a sugar boost, but also supports many communities around the world in an environmental way. Not only does that orange make ME feel better, but I feel better for the good that it does for the planet when I eat it.

B – I go to a shop, part of a fast declining high street brand that my Mum used to buy her bras and my socks from that always encases said consumable in thick layers of plastic. You just don’t know who could have touched the fruit from picking to packing to purveying. And despite its thick outer protective peel – there’s no way I am going to get Ebola as part of my 5 a day.

Q8 – Blinkin’ Flip. All this Global Warming is making me freeze to death after a dive in the UK. Can we get some outrageous temperatures here please. Especially in Portland in April. So how shall I warm up immediately after a dive?

A – My trusty fleece. You know they make it from re-cycled plastic bottles. The warmth doesn’t just come from the material. It comes from feeling good too. Yeah, I know the zipper is bust and it smells of chips and fox spoor after my partner used it to clean the dog after she walked it after her breakfast. But that is fleecy-life. Mine is a brand that translates to “mountain house” and I get great looks back from other divers in the car park when I wave at them with the same brand as myself.

B – Lucky I saved all that bubble-wrap from my last Amazon purchase. Buddy holds one end, and two twirls later I am as snuggly as a kettle in a large brown box posted to me from some weird place in France that has been with the neighbours for a fortnight. Not sure where it gets to though, after leaving it by the overfull bin at Fleet Services during Storm Trevor.

Q9 – We need a new wreck at my local dive site. Thanks to the cuts at the MoD they want to offload an aircraft carrier. How shall we sink it?

A – Lets use some fertilizer, ammonia concentrated from my own urine and Fairtrade sugar. Brown not white – it’s healthier. Detonate with a box of Swan Vesta matches lit from a longish thread of Crofters Ethical Wool.

B - Hit the Dark Web. Buy some plastic explosives from the CIA by pretending to be Ukrainian. Don’t worry where the nano-particles go after the explosion. Probably into fish and the food-chain. Not my problem.

Q10 – You suddenly realise that most of the world’s problems are due to over-population and we will double that human volume before England ever win a World Cup again. What do you do as a humble diver?

A – Call the Vatican to discuss with the Pope his attitudes towards birth control. Get put on hold as he is Canonising at the moment. Get fed up of the Gregorian chant music and ring off as it’s a quid a minute to call.

B - Refuse to have the flu jab next winter as an offering to take yourself out of the population explosion. Make sure your will states “Burial at Sea – encased in the bubble wrap from IKEA’s flatpack coffin”. Your grieving family will most likely lose the allan key for assembly.

ANSWERS

Mostly A’s : Go and buy an Ireland rugby shirt. Marry the Topshop bosses daughter. Cover yourself in clover. Watch a re-run of Opportunity Knocks. You are greener than a dollar bill. Celebrate.

Mostly B’s : Hang your head in shame Sir or Madam. Because of you I have to pay 5p a shopping bag and end up stealing the trolley and dumping it in a local lake.

For an even better blog than this... Read Rob's Blog

 
16th November 2016 - WHY TRUMP WON

Part 1 of an occasional series.

Headline in the Daily Beast - and without any irony at all.

" Is she an auntie or a stepmom? Tyga's girlfriend Kylie Jenner babysits King Cairo after Blac Chyna gave birth to daughter Dream

"

Right, so that's a Tyga, a Kylie, a King Cairo, a Blac Chyna and finally a Dream.

No wonder Bob and Martha from the Rust Belt don't feel part of that world.

JCF

For an even better blog than this... Read Rob's Blog

 
16th August 2016 - FLIGHTS NOT TO FANCY

Janky was perusing the Interweb lunch-time news today in search of good old facts.

The chosen source is always a balance of the Guardian [it’s free] and the Daily Mail [it’s also free] which gives him the correct view of the world.

A little known bizarre fact is that Mail readers go to the comments section of the Guardian to berate the Lefties, and vice versa, so Janky has a nice middle of the road opinion to teach to Young Fly.

During holiday season, it’s always nice to see the British holidaymaker kickin’ off on board their cheap flights. So much so that a ban on booze is seriously considered for air travel – not a problem for the Jankster as it’s the only place I don’t lush it, as you can’t smoke at the same time.

De-tox heaven for me.

Yesterday saw a new low – one passenger berating a kid and parents for the noise the crying child was making. She called the father a p****. Dunno if that was prick, ponce, pervy or a mis-pronounced pratt. Doesn’t seem to be such an asterisky sort of insult in Janks world by the way.

The flight – Manchester to Ibiza.

FFS – if it does NOT kick off on that route, then there’s something wrong with the world!

SO.. for your benefit, Janky has spent the time it’s taken to eat a Tesco £3 meal deal searching the 5 most bawdy air routes available.

5 – Birmingham – Prague, on a Thursday evo. Yup our Brummie chums take a day off work and Stag it out to Bohemia.

4 – Toronto – Havana . In March. There's a party that only Norte Americano students have each year. Avoiding their mind numbingly easy classes and 8 foot of snow for a week, they pile on to cheap flights south chanting "Spriiiiiing Breaaaak". So culturally popular this festival is, it has spurned over 20 Hollywood blockbusters, including Spring Break Bikini girls, Spring Break Jocks and Alien versus Spring Breakers. Yankees go to Miami and Cancun. But Canadians go to Cuba. A Canadian going flight crazy is like a Manc half asleep. So not as terrifying as 3 below, but if you want to see a Nanuk dressed as a polar bear punching the lights out of a guy wearing moose antlers both fuelled on free Molson, this is your flight.

3 – Manchester – Ibiza. See above. It’s obvious really, and as bad on the return as the way out.

2 – London – Nairobi. This is the most often used flight for repatriation to East Africa. Janky thanked God he had over ear headphones as the failed asylum seeker screamed for 3 hours before urinating her seat and being moved up to Club Class if she promised to behave. Janky tried this after failing to upgrade on the flight home – was refused and now has the arse equivalent of trench foot.

And the Number 1 unruly flight on the planet.

No, not Manchester to the Rest of the World.

Well done you Aussies.

1 – Perth – Bali. 3 hours of beer sodden airtime, with the highest rate of toilet tobaccing, molestation and larikiness. Average 4 arrests per flight.

JCF

For an even better blog than this... Read Rob's Blog

 
22nd January 2016 - EURODIVER

In or out?

It’s the question on everyone’s lips.

But if you can’t make up your mind – take this test to see if you are Jacques Cousteau on Calypso or Admiral Lord Nelson on Victory.

Let the Dive decide.

1. PRE-DIVE

You have been asked politely to be at the front of your hotel at 8 a.m for the pick up to get to the Dive Boat for an early departure.

• Answer A – Stupid – I have to have a coffee from the room kettle, dress in my Desigual breakfast clothing and then ask for a very complicated omelette from the man before having more coffee and perhaps some cheese. Then I have to wash my sunglasses before I can be seen by the driver. Oh, I have forgotten my spare snorkel for the days diving. I will be only a few minutes getting it.

• Answer B – “Bloody ‘ell love – its 7.55 – make us a cup of tea – and I’ll take the mini-bar water and Pringles for now. Don’t want to be late”

2. ON THE BUS

It’s way hot. Like over 20 degrees. All the passengers are sweating. What do you do?

• Answer A – Insist on keeping all the windows closed and then trying to see if the A/C will work for the short duration to the port.

• Answer B – Assume the 80’s converted Transit is basically screwed. Open all the windows and be glad you are wearing a lightweight football shirt where the sweat diffusion cools you down.

3. ON THE BOAT

Dive site is an hour away. There’s a briefing in 45 minutes.

• Answer A – Get kitted up straight away. Start tank checking, suiting and lens cleaning the camera. Sit on the seat and talk loudly about your last dive and the size of the sharks you saw.

• Answer B – Where’s the coffee? I need some now. Fumble with the powder milk sachet and pour sugar 6 inches away from your cup when the boat hits a wave. Drink it and then need the loo. Break the hand pump and hope no-one has noticed. Suit up in less than a minute. Good to go- but your camera is still in the hotel room.

4. ON THE DIVE

Wow. The best coral ever seen with delicate anemones and nudibranchs. What’s your Dive Plan?

• Answer A – To try to get as many underwater souvenirs as I can possibly snaffle – with the compliance of my buddy. If there was a B&Q at the port I would have gotten a couple of chisels and a waterproof angle grinder.

• Answer B – Was there coral? Was there an anemone? I thought I saw a shark – but it could have been a plastic bag. God, I am so hungover. Maybe the next dive will revive me.

5. POST DIVE

Time to get out of your wetsuit and into your civvies before the boat hits the home mooring. Does this take long?

• Answer A – Of course not. I shall fully remove all my neoprene in front of everyone as I am happy with my body. Whilst naked, as we do often at home, I shall apply as much moisturiser as it takes to rehydrate my skin. If you are offended by my nakedness, then that is your problem not mine. My buddy is also nude and will apply ample L’Oreal to my back.

• Answer B – Ages. I have to undress with a badly positioned towel around my waist. If no-one is looking I shall quickly pop on my Primark undies. If someone is looking I will shuffle a pair of shorts up my legs and hope the towel will stay in place. Once the bottom bit is done, my gut releases the towel so everyone can see the snake tattoo coming up from my perineum to my shoulder.

6. UNDERWATER CAMERA

Digital photography and a big piece of plastic housing has allowed the keen amateur to replicate shots that only the best used to take. What have you got?

• Answer A – Nikon XLS with a Hannheiser mount. Krypton flash and all wrapped up in a bespoke Korean made poly-kevlar shield. Don’t ask what it cost – you can’t afford it. “Look at my shots of the grouper – got the light right – it even shows the tiny teeth. Macro-tastic. Wait while I take you through the other 400 images from the safety stop.”

• Answer B – Kodak Underwater – waterproof to 4 metres. But I took it down to 60 to see if it would implode. Got a few shots of fish tails – but a great one of your wife/buddy sharing air and phone numbers with the Instructor after they got bored of waiting for you to photo a shrimp. One of us will be mugged on the way back to the hotel. It won’t be me.

7. SUN LOTION

Skin cancer is a serious issue. Especially in a hot, sunny ozone free country that you visit often. Slap it all on?

• Answer A – Of course. I apply Factor 50 before I go to sleep, and top up with that new stuff P20 for the day. I do not want to burden my health service with an unnecessary melanoma when I could have avoided it.

• Answer B – It’s not that hot. Honey, give me that stick we put on the kids lips and I will try it on my nose. You need to get some sun on you the first day to get the tan working by the end of the week. And the red turns into brown later – I read it on the web.

8. DIVE KIT

Diving, apres-dive or in the disco on your holidays – how important is it to you to have the latest gear on an active holiday?

• Answer A – Mandatory. We invented fashion. I cannot show a friend a single photo of me with barracuda if I look like a dick. Each year I burn my old neoprene to power my eco-friendly chalet and get a subsidy for my new Mares from the local mayor.

• Answer B – Northern Diver. Second hand. E-bay.

9. BREAKFAST

Power the diving day by eating well. It’s your fuel for the cold waters below the thermocline, and when you mix gas on that 100 metre dive, a 5 hour deco stop can make you hungry.

• Answer A – Bircher muesli, fruit salad and some of that salty cheese with a tiny bit of salami.

• Answer B – Under the bacon lies bread to mop up the fat. That and more bacon. If they have sausages, five. If they have Baked Beans – a bowl full. Cereal to make me feel healthy – but only the bootleg Corn Flakes.

10. FLIGHT HOME

A huge queue at the check in for the flight back. Your local guide has a friend at the counter and can get you straight to the front for 20 bucks.

• Answer A – NO – I will go there myself and demand to be checked in now, because I have a loud voice and a bad haircut.

• Answer B – NO – I will wait in line because I can complain later. Though I won’t as the phone line is an 0845 and that will take all my phone credit.

HOW DID YOU DO

• Mainly A’s : Zut alors, Teufel, Ay caramba – you are truly a Scion of Schengen. You will vote IN to bring you closer to the culture and sophistication of Rome piazzas and cheaper roaming charges.

• Mainly B’s : As British as the bacon butty you eat by a freezing cold quarry in mid-November. You will vote OUT as you know global warming will give Weymouth a Mediterranean coastline in a few years and so there will never be a need to leave this Sceptred Isle.

For an even better blog than this... Read Rob's Blog

 
12th January 2016 - AQUATOTS

There was a time when this boggy flooded island used to export to the world - wool and democracy.

It’s so different now. Time with others from the continent leaves a different perspective. We are not so much Great Britain, but the “Islanders”.

Cameron’s wet negotiations, lucky that at least the Hungarian PM gave him some time and a promise before our vote, the comedy of our opposition, it looks like we have lost it all in the face of the Europeans.

But no.

We still export the best of one thing to the whole darn world.

Our good ole British Paedos.

Kick off in Cologne. We can give you worse.

The Jungle walking up the Tunnel to get here. Bad?

Nope – our new export to the EU sends a bigger shiver down collective euro-spines than anything coming here from within the Incontinent.

Local news from the Romanian borderland with Serbia, not even reported here yet, has fingered a peculiar man in the local swimming pool.

Timisoara Daily has exposed a perv who has been coming into the local baths daily. Aged over 40, this guy has avoided the Adults Pool to use the Kiddies Pool with the excuse he is learning to swim. CCTV has him there on most days.

But guess what he does when next to tots doing their first breast-stroke.

Yup. His Speedos accidentally fall down and he proceeds to Master his Johnson.

It took a few Mums to see this and report him.

However there is no underwater CCTV in operation for full legal prosecution, so he has just been banned from all pools in a 300 kilometre radius of Timisoara.

And children.

“Bloody Germans” I say.

“An Islander” says Cruella.

YEESUS. An Underwater Paedo.

A Subaqua Savile.

Give Tom Watson a wet suit and a Dive Lawyer.

FFS – can we stop this. Can Operation Yewtree extend to Oak tree, Elm tree, Ash tree and bloody Olive tree. What is it about the UK that we seem to have our kiddie fiddlers operating all over Europe, including small pools in far flung ex-Commie towns?

What does the UK have that the EU does not to cause this?

Cheap EasyJet flights to soft policed areas. Perhaps.

A lack of out-going border control at Luton. Definitely.

Suspicion.

That’s the Bullseye – last time I took Young Fly for a walk on the common – I had my eye out for them all.

“Would you like to play with my puppy?” – “Would you like a smack”

“Which way is Portsmouth?”

“Do you have a light?”

“How old is your son?”

They are EVERYWHERE I tell you.

Romania just has to catch up with our home grown paranoia.

Mind you – last time I was in Austria, the guy from Air BnB had to go the cellar to get change for 100 Euros from his daughter.

And their child.

JCF

For an even better blog than this... Read Rob's Blog

 
3rd June 2015 - QUOTE QUIZ

Heard today:

“But it was mainly people owning up to it. They felt embarrassed, they felt frustrated, they felt stupid, but you’ve got to man up to this stuff. I could hear in their voices, some were in tears, just mad at themselves.”

Who said it and why?

A: FIFA committee members realising that Seppo really couldn’t go on at all – was deeply implicated in all these “funds to research football schools”, which never did - and the Feds are about to bust him too.

B: LibDem back room staff on allowing Charles Kennedy his last appearance on Question Time. The one where weary and woozy he stumbled mid-sentence and was pleased Dimbleby cut through him and went back to the audience. The one which made us a bit less surprised at news of his demise.

C: An ISIS schoolgirl jihadi bride’s comments on being re-united with her parents back in the UK, after coming home after running out of sanitary towels and RPGs in Mosul.

D: None of the above

Correct answer: D

Oh yes – It was Simon Cowell – after discovering a dog had a stunt double to win his show.

Beating yet another troupe of street dancing estate kids who think they’re Diversity.

The fact that this Nation has had 2 dogs winning in the last 3 years, shows we seriously lack talent.

JCF

For an even better blog than this... Read Rob's Blog

 
9th April 2015 - Q-TIPS

Cuba's in the news. To go or not to go. Janky went to find out and offers you these Cuba-tips.

• DO – Go and go now. This time will be known as the Castro P.M. Yes Pre-MacDonald’s - the Americans are coming. Current President Raul has 2 more years in office and the expectation with the lightening of U.S. relations is a tsunami of cruise boats and burger lovers. It still has a wonderful Caribbean Communist charm. Perhaps if Russia had better weather, rum, beaches and beautiful people then Putin would still have a Soviet Union.

• DO – Try diving on both coasts. The north has all the big tourist hotels [Cubans are not allowed to stay there], so its boat diving from your all-inclusive, but you won’t see the real country, especially if you fly charter directly to Cayo Coco. Try the south coast. Better coral and even some cenotes filled with fish and perfectly clear water. The Bay of Pigs two hours south of Havana is cool and you will see the true Cuba.

• DO – Get a basic NVQ in plumbing before you go. The loos and showers can be pretty hopeless at times, and rather than wait for the local guy to finish his siesta, I found it easier to fix it myself. A travel spanner set from B and Q can easily fit into a dive bag. Presto, a non-embarrassingly empty khasi for when your partner comes back from the cigar shop.

• DO – A little history. West of Havana are some amazing mountains and caves where Russell Brand lookalike “El Commadante” lived during the US funded military invasion in ’61. You can see his bedroom still preserved in a small cavern, replete with writing desk and comfy red pillows. They call it “Chez Guevara”.

• DO – Spend the best 30 bucks of your life on one thing. And this is a must do. Go to Central Park in Havana Old Town and see the line-up of old drop-top Pontiacs, Buicks, Plymouths and finned Chevvys. Brightly coloured and polished to perfection. In an hour you can see most of the city including Revolution Square and the best of the fading Spanish colonial architecture. Finish with the long drag by the bay called the Malecon where they fish from floating rubber rings and families dance to all the musicians playing by the sea. You will never forget it - and you will look and feel “pura vida”.

• DON’T – Ever lose your patience. Yes you have to wait in line a lot of times. Especially on arrival at the airport which can take over two hours to get through - what with customs, baggage and buying your tourist money called a “convertible peso”. But remember that the locals do it all the time when they have to get their free daily bread, milk, meat and eggs. The locals joke that that is why it’s called “Queue-ba”.

• DON’T – Have high expectations of the food outside Havana and the big hotels. Rice n beans, chicken or pork. That’s about it. I did ask why during the revolution they shot all the chefs as well as Batista’s soldiers. That was met with a frosty look. But in the home of rum, mojitos and daiquiris as well as Cohibas – who needs to eat anyway.

• DON’T – Snigger on your way to the northern cays when you go through the town of Moron. Cuba has the highest literacy rate of all of the Americas, they can all play a musical instrument and guess what? Their doctors were in West Africa months before we were helping with the Ebola Crisis. None of them contracted it either – which is more than we can say for the U.S. and Blighty.

• DON’T – Forget that the monthly government salary to every Cuban is only 50 bucks. Road sweeper or neurosurgeon – it’s the same. A socialist paradise. But the shops are fairly empty. The biggest supermarket is the size of a Spar. If you have any old dive kit or stuff you don’t really need, leave it to the locals. They will be grateful. I now have a new routine for developing countries. Pop down to Primark – spend 20 quid on your clothes and give it all to the needy when you go. That leaves enough space in your suitcase to fill with all the fish carvings and Che berets your family at home need as presents.

• DON’T – Freak out if you find a crab in your room. And twenty outside the door. For a week a year the land crabs migrate from the forest behind the hotel, over the walls and through the grounds to the beach in front of you. The local roads are filled with more crabby splats than when a John West delivery truck jack-knifes on the M25. A true wonder of nature. And it’ll save you 5 grand on a flight to Christmas Island if you’re into that sort of thing.

JCF

For an even better blog than this... Read Rob's Blog

 
1st April 2015 - TRICKSY

Had my cell phone swiped by the cleaner. But I just couldn’t figure out how. I know I left it in the room the previous afternoon. Did not take it out that evening and had to clear the area at 5 a.m. to go to another destination the next morning.

As a well experienced traveller I know how to exit a hotel room. Bag packed. Check under the bed, back into the bathroom to pull the shower curtain back. All clear. Do the drawers and look under the bed again. Sweet. Nothing left behind, it must be in last night’s pre-packed Samsonite. But lo…when you get to the next destination – your phone is not to be seen or found. The natural reaction is to blame yourself and maybeee you took it out to the bar and left it there. But I was so sure I did not and the phone call to the hotel is met with “Nada mobile” in your old room Senor – that you give up and put it to experience.

Until this happened.

Next hotel in Cayo Coco – a dodgy 3 star on Cuba’s northern cays, Janky found the tricksy way it happens.

A pair of missing shades. They were here – deffo – last night before we went out for the evening and afore the service person does a “sheet-turn-down” (still the most un-necessary waste of hotel staff time, along with towel origami).

No shades the next morning. 30 minutes of panicked returns to the bar, restaurant and beach. Not to be found.

But then Janky is putting his last fag out in the Coke can in the bin under the sink. And guess what’s there right under the other minibar tins and empty Soltan factor 50 bottles. YES – a pair of sunglasses. No way they fell there, the bin is well under the sink.

They were put there by your friendly room cleaner.

So here’s the trick. Your stuff is not stolen. It’s hidden in room, least where you will expect to look. They know you are checking out that morning and can go pick it up when you are half way to Zapata to see the crab migration. They also know you won’t come all the way back for an item worth under a hundred quid.

And to think Fidel, Raul and Che fought for that level of petit crime. Pathetic. Cuba, sort it out.

So dear Traveller – when you are 110% convinced that your missing stuff is in the room. Check the bin and in time check the one by the loo where they know you would never look in a country that can’t flush Andrex into the sewage system.

JCF

For an even better blog than this... Read Rob's Blog

 
12th August 2014 - UP THE TUNDRA

Sadly Oxfordshire council have stopped the habit of taking all the yoof with ASBOs to Center Parcs for a mind broadening experience that hoped to see the offenders mix with normal humans and thus learn that yobbery was bad. Mainly due to all the rooms being broken into, but also 3 cases of attempted rape and one incidence involving a dog, pool cue and a wrap of heroin. Go figure.

The upshot of all this?

Janky has had to take young Fly off somewhere this summer.

Fly is now of the age where the sweet odour of youth is replaced by Lynx Africa. The age where a fathers scruffing of their hair is met with fingers dripping in gel and agonising screams as their barnet is now “all messed up”.

And finally the age where Countdown, Pointless and the 5 o’clock news are considered breakfast television. Attempted wake up calls at 10 or 11 a.m. are met with silence. Later shouts get a “shuuuutuuup”, but as regular as the cock is replaced by the owl, he will surface and hunt down cereal and toast.

But we parents are cleverer, eh.

Fly likes his golf – courtesy of wall to wall programming at his Youth Institute. Theres little point playing at home though if he’s on the course just as it gets dark.

Smart solution – take the Fly to where it is still light even at midnight – so he can get the hours on the greens needed to keep Janky in green at a later date. That’s what kids are for.

We have headed to Finland.

More later, Fly is having an emergency as he has accidentally eaten herring on black rye bread. He thought it was an Oreo.

Fool

JCF

For an even better blog than this... Read Rob's Blog

 
9th May 2014 - GOODLUCK NIGERIA

STUPID 1 this week. A Saudi Arabian blogger sets up a forum to discuss religion in the governing of his country.

Result – 1000 lashes and a ten year sentence if the former doesn’t kill him.

STUPID 2 this week. Polio makes a comeback. After millions of man hours, billions in dollars we, humanity, almost got rid of this sickening virus that causes permanent disability in children. So near to adios virus, along with smallpox and bubonic plague. But no, some nutters felt that the vaccination programme was not for the good of the planet, but an evil scheme from the West to control citizens.

Who could be so dim?

Step forward - the Taliban. Thanks guys and girls, if that’s what’s under those black sheets. We almost had it nailed, but you screwed it all up, in the name of….

Are you getting the thread here?

Could it be Islam?

STUPID 3 this month. Yes the poor girls of a boarding school in Nigeria. It has taken the BBC - 3 weeks to start criticising their government for doing nothing. It took the BBC that long to even take the story seriously. 3 days after the event, Janky asked some homies their views on this situation. They knew nada. And these boyz are well informed - but the news was full of Korean cruise ship debacles and the extended thread of missing aircraft. Aunty had it as a short 5th story after various subtle plugs for labour.

(Thank God there was a slow news window this week before Rolf Harris appeared in court…..

Can you see what it is yet?

Is it a tube of white paint Rolf? I’ll give it a squeeze to find out.)

The world has finally woken up to this monstrous African atrocity.

Children. Away from home. Kidnap. Sold to bondage and slavery. Inaction. Every parent’s nightmare rolled in to one.

As Shoeman pointed out, there may be a reason for Nigerian vacillation.

Apparently 75% of the oil income this year has disappeared. Yup just gone. The President really has had more Goodluck than any previous incumbent.

By the way, this is a politician who really is eponymous. Through successive deaths and disappearance, an ill-equipped man who rode Number 2 in all his previous appointments became the Pres. Imagine a fire in the Houses of Parliament, followed by a bomb at the Liberal Party conference and the last man left standing is Vince Cable, who becomes Prime Minister. That’s how Nigeria got their man in charge.

The the luck of Goodluck. He’s been laundering the oil money these last 3 weeks. So… for the first ever time, open your spam!

Those offers from Nigeria are for real dude.

You know the second biggest landlord at Number 1 Hyde Park is a Nigerian oil baron.

The biggest? – a local Knightsbridge solicitor that speaks Russian.

Says it all, eh.

Shame on you Islamist extremists Procul Harum, or whatever you are called. Your pathetic excuse - Girls should not be at school, they should be married at 14.

FFS. Islamic retards. Perhaps if the Qu’raan can be so manipulated by those so stupid, the next crusade should replace it with “Ant and Bee Make a Cake”. No room for prejudicial interpretation there.

And this is where we now need the Tories to make some strong decisions, and it shames me to say this, like the French.

They went in to Mali and kicked ass when the local Brotherhood were amputating and beheading. Imagine if we sent some specialists in to find these girls. And you know who I mean here. Cos as sure as a 60 million London property is a 60 million London property, the local government have other things on their mind.

I can’t even see the Guardian and BBC complaining about that. Cameron might even get re-elected.

Yes we might be tired of Afghan and Iraqi war but this is different. We have a duty to an old colony, like the French in Mali and can’t expect the Yanks to always bail out the world.

Step up William Hague – cast off that image of a wet Tory teenager and be a man for once.

However the real issue with Islam, and I will not be an apologist for it as our press seems to be, is that it is 600 years younger that Christianity.

Still medieval in its construct and attitudes, and still wet behind the ears when it comes to manipulation by its leaders.

And yes if we go back over half a millennium in the UK, we were burning Catholics, hanging Protestants, eviscerating Aztecs and generally creating a very merry hell unto each other in the name of Faith.

This is the cycle and maturing of Religion. Hopefully Islam will be just fine in A.D. 2500

Just a shame that the newest one will be hell bent on global destruction by then.

Expect the Force to be evil with the Mormons in the future my descendants.

Bonne Chance

JCF

On a happier note, the swifts have arrived at last in London. Screeching and wheeling in the Battersea sky. Summer is truly here.

Roll on Fly’s next few cricket matches being rained off.

For an even better blog than this... Read Rob's Blog

 
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